Volume 12, Issue 2, Fall 1998
An Aristotelian View of Theory and Practice in Business Ethics
In this paper, I argue that an Aristotelian approach to business ethics would place theory and practice in business ethics in proper balance. I attempt to show this in two parts. In part one, I suggest that Aristotle’s balanced view of the relation between theory and practice in political philosophy can be applied to corporate life;
Aristotle’s sophisticated ethical and political inquiries should help advocates of corporate culture to construct theories that are theoretically, practically, and ethically sound. In part two, I argue that theory and practice are kept in proper balance in Aristotle’s discussion of phronesis or practical wisdom; therefore, Aristotelian phronesis should help to illuminate morally intelligent business conduct.